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Martin Barrett
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Best Book Summary Apps

13 Best Book Summary Apps To Enhance Your Reading (2023)

Reading books as a hobby can be expensive in many ways.

For a start, an entire book can be very expensive to buy and it can be annoying when you begin to read one and it wasn’t what you thought it would be and you aren’t enjoying it.

Reading books is also expensive in terms of time, in that you need a lot of it to be able to read your favorite books and your to-be-read pile.

Thankfully, in our modern world, there are apps and free book summary websites that can help you save both your money and your time when it comes to books.

Book summary apps are a great way to get the main ideas of a book without having to purchase the full thing or spend a long time reading it.

While these best book summary websites definitely don’t replace the experience of reading a really good book, they can help you weed out ones that will waste your time.

They are also useful for catching up on a plot when you haven’t been able to pick up your book in weeks.

In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best book summary apps for you.

Blinkist

Blinkist is the summary app that you are most likely to have heard of before.

It is one of the most popular nonfiction summary apps on the market. With this app, you can access over 3,000 non–fiction titles with more being added all the time.

One of the best things about this app is the freedom to choose how you want to use it.

Blinkist offers a desktop free version as well as a phone app so you can use whichever free version is more convenient for you.

You can also choose between reading summaries or listening to audio summaries, whichever fits into your day better.

Each summary on Blinkist takes around 10 minutes to read and each full-length book is condensed down into an average of 12 ‘blinks’ or summaries.

Blinkist


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Pros

  • Popular brand
  • Over 3,000 titles
  • More summaries are added continuously
  • Multiple audio versions

Cons

  • More Expensive

getAbstract

A great alternative to Blinkist is getAbstract. This book summary app is generally considered to be the biggest competitor best app for Blinkist.

One of the biggest selling points of this app is that it has a strong history, stretching back to 1999.

It is safe to assume that getAbstract knows what they are doing when it comes to summarizing books.

getAbstract generally caters to larger businesses and offers plans that allow whole companies to access the book summaries that they need.

You can also purchase personal paid app plans that are well worth the money if you are looking to gain access to plenty of high-quality, non-fiction book summaries.

The layouts that getAbstract uses have been proven to help you retain the maximum amount of information possible.

You can also access completely free tutorials on their Youtube channel to make the most of the app.

getAbstract


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Pros

  • Running since 1999
  • Provides commercial plans
  • Layouts are proven to help knowledge retention
  • Free tutorials

Cons

  • Better for businesses than personal use

Amazon

If you are looking for a book summary app service that doesn’t require a paid subscription, Amazon is a great choice.

Aside from the fact that Amazon has access to a huge range of fiction and non-fiction books and audiobooks, there are also book summaries that can be purchased individually.

If you are looking to purchase and read less than three summaries every month, you will end up saving money over a subscription-based app.

However, there is one significant downside to using Amazon for book summaries.

Similarly to how anyone can upload an ebook to sell on Amazon, anyone can upload and sell a book summary.

This means that there is a lack of quality control and the book summaries may vary in their usefulness and detail.

Pros

  • No subscription required
  • Affordable per summary
  • Can be cheaper than subscription-based apps
  • Well-known company

Cons

  • Not quality-controlled like other apps

Instaread

Instaread is another subscription-based book summary app that is a well-known name in the world of book summaries.

The main thing that makes Instaread stand out from the rest of the book summary apps is the production of plenty of unique, high-quality content on top of the standard book summaries.

The best selling point of this app is that you can access a 7-day free trial to test it out before having to commit to a subscription.

All of the summaries on this app are available to be read or in audio form. Instaread has over 1,000 titles summarized for you to read.

Of these titles, there is a mix of fiction books and nonfiction books which can make this app even more appealing depending on what you want to read.

The style of the summaries is very short form and feels like bullet points. The summaries tend to summarize books by chapter and offer the key takeaways.

Instaread


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Pros

  • Well-priced subscription plans
  • Produces unique content as well
  • Free trial
  • Fiction and nonfiction books

Cons

  • Doesn’t feature more niche books

Reading Graphics

If you are a more visual learner and the idea of reading even a book summary or having to listen to one fills you with dread, Reading Graphics could be for you.

Unlike the other book summary apps on this list, Reading Graphics offers its summaries in an infographic format.

This is perfect for anyone who struggles to retain information through reading or listening.

Having the option to learn and take in information in a more visual way is the perfect way to corner a lucrative gap in the book summary market.

The visual infographics that Reading Graphics offer provide a visual representation of the key themes and lessons from the book’s that you want to be summarized.

You can also access audio summaries and ten-page, easy-to-read summaries through this app.

The infographics do not provide a huge amount of information on their own, but they can be a great supplement to help you understand what you are reading or listening to.

Pros

  • Provides helpful visual infographics
  • Easy-to-read summaries
  • Audio summaries
  • Great for visual learners

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a huge repertoire of books

Sumizeit

Sumizeit is a newer book summary app that you are less likely to have heard of.

Although it may be a newer platform, it has gained decent traction in a short amount of time which makes it worth a mention on this list.

Some of the main features that helped the app to gain popularity so quickly include the book summary service they offer and the neat, beautiful interface.

The app is available on both Android and IOS operating systems which makes it fairly versatile.

The summaries that are available on Sumizeit range in length between 10 and 15 minutes.

They are also available in audio, text, and video format to suit the way that you learn best.

New summaries are added to the app each week so that you will never run out of things to learn about.

Sumizeit


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Pros

  • Available on IOS and Android
  • Constantly adding new summaries
  • Short summaries
  • Summaries are available in multiple formats

Cons

  • Newer platform, still building a repertoire of summaries

Four Minute Books

Four Minute Books is a book summary app that really does what it says on the tin.

All of the summaries that are offered by Four Minute Books run for four minutes.

The company has been creating book summaries since 2016 which gives you peace of mind that they know what they are doing and provide quality summaries for you to learn from.

Four Minute Books has an extensive list of book summaries that is constantly growing and being updated. On average, there are 3 new summaries added each week.

This book summary app started as a very small, one-man enterprise and has since grown into a small team that has dedicated writers to ensure that the summaries are of high quality.

Four Minute Books


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Pros

  • Substantial repertoire built since 2016
  • Experienced in producing quality summaries
  • Grown from a small business enterprise
  • Constantly adding new summaries

Cons

  • 3 lessons in 4 minutes can be overwhelming

Book Video Club

The Book Video Club is a slightly different book summary app from the others on this list. Instead of being its own app, it is actually a Youtube channel.

It is understandable to be wary of using Youtube to get your book summaries for the same reasons as you might be wary of using Amazon for book summaries.

There is much less quality control that has to take place in order to make a Youtube video book summary.

With that being said, the video book summaries that are produced by Book Video Club are actually pretty useful and are beautifully produced.

If you are more of a visual learner and were excited to learn about Reading Graphics, you will also love Book Video Club.

Their videos feature beautiful animations that help to explain the key themes and lessons from the books. They also cover both fiction and nonfiction books.

Pros

  • Great for visual learners
  • Well-thought-out video summaries
  • Clear and easy to understand animations
  • Accessible for free on Youtube

Cons

  • Not a lot of quality control is required for Youtube book summaries
Scribd

Scribd

If you are looking for book summaries on a budget, Scribd is a great option.

The low subscription price allows you access to unlimited audiobooks, book summaries, and ebooks.

All of this has earned Scribd the nickname of the Netflix of books.

Scribd is the perfect option for you if you are looking for book summaries app as well as access to audiobooks and ebooks.

It can be a great way to slim down your subscriptions and have all of your reading materials in one place for one monthly price.

However, if you are looking for a platform or app that is dedicated to book summaries, there are probably better options out there for you.

Scribd


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Pros

  • All your book needs can be in one app
  • Great for people on a budget
  • Plenty of summaries available
  • Unlimited access for a small monthly subscription

Cons

  • Feels a bit Jack of all trades

Mentorbox

Mentorbox is another book summary app that you may have heard of thanks to their love of aggressive advertising campaigns.

However, Mentorbox is another book summary app that has identified the perfect niche to help them stand out from the competition.

All of the summaries on Mentorbox are presented by the authors of the books.

This is a great concept and helps to ensure that the summaries are going to touch on the main points of the books as the author wanted them to be understood.

With Mentorbox, you have access to exclusive video courses, audio lessons, workbooks, and cheat sheets.

The membership price is low, however, the platform does try to upsell constantly.

MentorBox


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Pros

  • Affordable subscription price
  • Content presented by authors, CEOs, and experts
  • Access to video courses and lessons too

Cons

  • Lots of upselling and aggressive marketing

12min

12min offers business books that are aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners.

The key concepts of this book summary app are very similar to Blinkist and if you are drawn to the things that Blinkist offers, it might be better to actually choose Blinkist over 12min.

Ultimately, Blinkist and 12min have the same target audience and the features that are offered are extremely similar.

The main difference is that Blinkist has a much larger selection of titles that have been summarized and the quality of the summaries is much higher than 12min.

There are also extra add-ons that you get with Blinkist that aren’t available within 12min.

With that being said, 12min is a substantially cheaper option. Therefore, if you want Blinkist but it is out of your budget, 12min is a great option.

12min


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Pros

  • Aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Similar to Blinkist
  • Cheaper than Blinkist
  • Limited access to free book summaries.

Cons

  • Not as good as Blinkist

ShortForm

ShortForm is another good book summary app that is relatively new to the industry.

Despite being a newer platform, they still have a reasonably extensive catalog to choose from. The main downside to ShortFrom is a big one in terms of pricing.

Despite the fact that this is a newer platform and the catalog is still relatively small compared to other apps, the subscription price is vastly higher than Blinkist.

They do offer a 5-day free book summaries trial that allows full access to their catalog.

One of the main redeeming factors of ShortFrom that earns it a place on this list is the high quality of the summaries.

Despite the fact that the subscription is higher than almost any other and the repertoire is still small but growing, the quality keeps people subscribed to this app.

Shortform


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Pros

  • Ever growing repertoire
  • Super high-quality summaries
  • 5-day free trial that allows access to entire catalog

Cons

  • Super expensive subscription price

Readitfor.me

Readitfor.me is a popular book summary app that allows you access to summaries of business and personal development books.

All of the summaries on this app are less than 12 minutes in length which makes them super convenient.

The repertoire of books that Readitfor.me offers isn’t as extensive as some of the others on this reading list, but like all of these apps they are constantly adding more summaries to their platform.

Despite the smaller amount of book summaries apps that are available, you can still get the biggest and all the important ideas from the books available.

Readitfor.me


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Pros

  • Short summaries that provide key information
  • Aimed at business and personal development niche
  • Growing catalog of summaries
  • High-quality summaries

Cons

  • Smaller repertoire of books than other platforms

Best Book Summary Apps User Guide

There are a few important things that you should consider when looking for a book summary apps.

Below are some of the main things to consider before signing up for a paid subscription.

Monthly Subscription Cost

One of the most important things for many people to consider is the cost of the subscription to the app or premium version.

There are so many book summary apps that are available that can cater to any budget.

If you are looking for the best book summary app that is accessible to your entire business or enterprise, there are certain platforms that are designed to cater to commercial needs.

However, if you are looking for the best book summary apps for personal use, there are different apps and payment options for that too.

Similarly, if you are on a really tight budget, there are plenty of low-cost, no subscription, or even free book summary apps available.

Target Audience

As we mentioned briefly above, there are different book summary apps for different target audiences.

There are certain apps that feature summaries of nonfiction books, ones that are dedicated to fiction books or non fiction books, and ones that are dedicated to business or educational needs.

It is important to research the target audience of an app to ensure you have access to appropriate books.

Method Of Summaries

The method of the book summaries is another important factor to consider. This is an easier task if you are looking for a personal subscription.

There are different apps that cater to different learning styles.

If you are looking for the best book summary apps for a business, there are some apps that offer multiple formats of summaries.

Final Thoughts

There are so many different book summary apps that are designed to cater to different niches and needs.

Whether you are looking for something to summarize reading for pleasure or for learning and development, you are sure to find an app that works for you.

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